Int’l Men’s Day: Too many ‘sugar daddies’ in society – GWI Board Director


The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) on Tuesday joined with the rest of the world in observing International Men’s Day with an inaugural symposium held at the Regency Hotel in Georgetown.

One of the Directors, Dr Wilbert Lee spoke about the difficulties in conveying values to young men, especially in a society which he says has too many ‘sugar daddies.’

“In our society, they are too many sugar daddies, we need to find or we need to develop in our society men with chest. What do I mean with men with chest?

“Men who will have strong moral values, men who wouldn’t see the need to sexually molest their daughters, men who will protect their families and men who the society could look up to,” Dr Lee said.

A sugar daddy is usually referred to as a rich older man who lavishes gifts on a young woman in return for her company or sexual favours.

One of the Directors of the Board, Dr Wilbert Lee

International Men’s Day is celebrated annually to highlight positive masculinity, the well-being of men and the issues they face. The theme this year is – Making a difference for men and boys.

Dr Lee also said there are not enough male teachers and male parents at home.

“One of the institutions that was created to ensure our children are socializing with the male influence was the home, but we find in the homes daddy is not there,” Dr Lee said.

He noted that men are valuable to society and urged that fathers be more active in their children’s lives and that men, in general, be responsible.

He explained that men need to save themselves by hard work, protecting their families and not use their physical attributes to determine that they are a man.

Managing Director of GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles

“I found despite my busy schedule, to attend PTA meetings, I combed my daughter’s hair, I tuck them into to bed, I pray with them, talk with them because I wanted to remove from my mind the failed model I saw as a child so if we are really going to make a difference as we celebrate international men’s day our thinking has to be affected, our thinking has to change,” Dr Lee said.

Meanwhile, Managing Director for GWI, Dr Richard Van West-Charles noted that there need to be more male role models for young boys.

The Managing Director urged men to use this day and onward to reflect on their lives and to reevaluate their values and contributions to society.

“As we reflect we have to reflect also on the males, who we say are always making mistake and always in trouble but we have males who are in the Onderneeming Boys School, who have made mistakes.

“We have males who are incarcerated at the various prisons, all of them have made mistakes of varying degrees, some have families, but it is important for us as a country to be able to see how best as we move forward to ensure that the young boys coming up do not make the mistakes that many of us would have made,” the Managing Director said.

Some of the topics discussed at the symposium include the male suicide rate, educational challenges, violence against men, challenges faced in parenting and the negative portrayal of men among others.

It was highlighted that GWI has teamed up with Chase’s Academy to give 35 male employees the opportunity to complete their secondary education.

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